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What is Image Flattening?

¿Qué significa aplanar una imagen?

Flattening an image is a term used to describe the process of combining all the layers of an image into a single layer in programs such as Adobe Photoshop. When you work on a graphic file that has multiple layers, flattening the image combines all of those layers into one, eliminating the possibility of editing them individually in the future.

Some reasons why someone might want to flatten an image include:

  • Reduce file size: images with many layers tend to have a larger file size. By flattening them, you can significantly reduce the space they take up.
  • Preparing for printing or exporting: Some printers or programs may not handle multi-layered files properly, so flattening the image ensures that it will look as expected when printed or exported.
  • Sending or sharing the image: If you are sharing the image with someone who doesn’t need (or you don’t want them to have) access to the individual layers, flattening can be helpful.
  • Avoid unwanted edits: If you are finished editing and are satisfied with how the image looks, flattening it can prevent accidental modifications in the future.

However, it is important to use caution when flattening images. Once an image has been flattened, you cannot “unflattenit to recover individual layers (unless you have saved a separate copy of the original file with all the layers). For this reason, many graphic designers and editors choose to save a fully layered version (for example, in Photoshop PSD format) and then a flattened version for other purposes (such as a JPEG or PNG file).


With a degree in Psychology and a passion for flamenco guitar and board games, my professional journey has deeply explored the intricate link between human behavior and marketing. Over the years, I've honed my ability to analyze and interpret market trends and consumer responses. At The Color Blog, I blend my psychological insights with my love for writing, providing unique perspectives on marketing, history, and the human interactions that shape our digital age.View Author posts

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